The Houston Texans needed overtime and some heroics from DeAndre Hopkins with Andre Johnson concussed in order to scrape by the Tennessee Titans in a 30-24 game. I always like to take a look at some key- or merely interesting- statistics from the game, so prepare to read a series of (mostly) advanced statistics on the Houston Texans in Week 2. Unless where noted, all statistics are from Pro Football Reference and Advanced NFL Stats.
1. According to the Pro Football Focus, Houston Texans left guard Wade Smith allowed six pressures on Matt Schaub, and Smith had a really rough day in pass protection. The rest of the offensive line looked good with stars Duane Brown and Chris Myers putting forth terrific displays, but Smith had a rough day despite playing in between both stars.
2. Arian Foster was the only player on the Texans to drop a pass, and it’s really impressive to see that Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins never dropped a pass despite being targeted a combined 26 times. The two wide receivers are staples in the offense, and Johnson is still getting huge targets despite having a top No. 2 receiver. So not only is Johnson becoming more efficient with his targets as the result of seeing less coverage with there finally being a legit No. 2, but Johnson is also still getting big-time target numbers.
3. The Houston Texans had 25 first downs compared to just 14 for the Tennessee Titans.
4. Matt Schaub was so much better throwing it to the right side of the field than the left that it’s almost scary. When Schaub went for the right side of the field, he was 14-22 and all three of his touchdowns were on throws to the right. But when Schaub focused his direction to the left side of the gridiron, he went 6-16. Overall, he averaged a horrendous (you will do a double-take when you see this number) 2.75 yards per attempt on throws to the left but averaged an excellent 8.2 yards per attempt on throws to the right.
That’s pretty mind-blowing, if you ask me.
5. 89 of Ben Tate‘s 93 yards came on runs to the left side of the field, and the interesting thing is that Arian Foster was actually more efficient running it to the right than the left despite Tate’s numbers. Foster averaged 2.6 yards per carry on runs to the left but totaled 6.1 yards per carry when running it to the right (Foster had one carry up the middle and nine on both sides).
6. The Tennessee Titans must have really been afraid of running it to the right and outside, because they only ran the ball twice to that part of the field. When they did test the Texans there, they averaged just two yards per pop.
7. Antonio Smith and J.J. Watt are the league’s most dominant 3-4 DE duo, and it’s not even close. I mean, it’s almost fair to ask if they are one of the greatest 3-4 DE duos in NFL history to this point, and they both combined for a whopping eight pressures on Jake Locker in this one- and that’s against a Titans offensive line that is much-improved.
8. Jonathan Joseph is normally the star of the unit, but the Houston Texans No. 1 corner had a rough day. Kendall Wright was on a tear against him, and Joseph, per the Pro Football Focus, allowed 73 total receiving yards with 46 of them coming after the catch.
9. Per Advanced NFL Stats, Brian Cushing was such an all-over-the-place beast on Sunday that he had ten “successful” plays. Cushing has a big impact as an ILB on this Houston Texans defense, and he made a lot of tackles. In fact, I was pretty blown away by this stat: Cushing had seven tackles in run defense in the middle of the field.
10. Kareem Jackson was stout in coverage all game long, and he’s a pretty underrated cornerback in this league. Both he and the great J.J. Watt tied for the team lead with two passes defended each.
11. The Tennessee Titans completed just one pass on seven attempts on deep passes against the Houston Texans secondary.